Breathing new life into the husk of a worn-out asset is as much an art as it is a science, equal parts vision and revision, magic and math. And as the upturn matures, value-add plays are gaining in volume and stature, an inherently optimistic and visionary take on where the cycle is heading.

When Greystar purchases a new asset, it’s Wes ­Fuller’s job to look at the acquired property and envision what it can become. Avana Skyway, in San Jose, Calif., is one community Fuller’s team is renovating to make as beautiful as newly constructed apartments—but at higher yields and a lower cost.

“Our goal for renovations is to take assets that are well located and renovate the existing product with the same materials and common-area themes and modern designs so they look and feel like new product,” says Fuller, executive managing director of investments. “Then, it becomes a value proposition to the renters where they can get high-quality, renovated product at a discounted monthly rent compared to new ­product.”

Here’s a look at how the Charleston, S.C.–based firm and three other companies transformed aged product, as part of MFE’s annual Apartment Renovation Index.